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Challenge: NICU Parenting

Ellie Mae

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July 2016 we experienced a loss, a child we never got to meet. I was devastated and went through so many emotions as to why me and why my baby. Fast forward to February of 2017, I found out we were expecting...again. Throughout my entire pregnancy it was a struggle to get happy with the fear in the back of my head of losing another child. At 30 weeks I was at work. Working as a Paramedic on a busy ambulance service I sat down to chart when I started experiencing terrible back pain. I went to the hospital and discovered I was in preterm labor with contractions and 2 cm dilated. I was then put on bed rest in hopes the baby would "bake" a little bit longer. I made it to 35 weeks 2 days when something just didn't feel right. While in the hospital I had dilated from 2cm to 5cm in just two short hours. I prayed my sweet baby would be okay. I started pushing at 0802 and delivered a baby girl at 0852. Everything seemed okay. The NICU team evaluated her and they let me do skin to skin. About 3 hours later when rechecking her they determined she was breathing to fast and her sugar was to low. They decided she needed to go to the NICU. A flood of emotions came when the nurse stated, "we have to take her upstairs to NICU she's not breathing right." Here was my baby that I had prayed for and wanted being ripped away from me to go upstairs to be attended by the nurses and doctors. They let me hold her one last time before they took her away. After they got me settled in my postpartum room they let me go see my sweet Ellie. My husband and I entered her room not really knowing what to expect. She had a feeding tube in, an IV, and a nasal cannula in her tiny little nose. A flood of emotions hit I just wanted to hold my baby so bad. I felt so helpless for my tiny infant sitting there knowing there was nothing I could do for her. We stayed at the hospitals Ronald McDonald house which allowed us the opportunity to be close to our baby without leaving the hospital. We went through countless nurses who took amazing care of our baby. The worst day was when they tried 14 times to get an IV on our poor baby and she screamed and there was nothing we could do to comfort her. We stayed a total of 8 days in the NICU. We met parents that had been there longer. We met nurses that take care of these helpless babies. We couldn't be more grateful for the care our Ellie received while there. The wires, the monitors, the constant beeping, the tubes they were all a part of our little girls first week. I remind myself that It could have been worse... but I'm so grateful for our experience and the outcome. Which wouldn't have been possible without the amazing team at the NICU. Our little Ellie is home and is happy and growing like crazy. God has blessed us. Thank you Parkview NICU team.

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